Chocolate Cake Base (adapted from Beatty’s Chocolate Cake - Ina Garten)
1/2cupnatural cocoa powder
1/2cupplant based milk
1/4cupolive oil oil
1large eggat room temperature
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
1 ¼cupwhite sugar
Pinchof kosher salt
Chocolate Cake Base
Butter and line a quarter sheet pan. Preheat oven to 325°F.
Place the flour, sugar, sifted cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Add the egg, oil, milk, vinegar and vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix (with a whisk) until well combined and the batter is smooth.
Add the coffee and stir it in to mix.
Pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan and bake in preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes until cooked (the cake should be soft and springy when touched).
Let the cake cool slightly and flip it out on to a cooling rack to let it cool down completely (parchment paper side down).
Cover the cake and let it chill in the fridge, and prepare the frozen dessert centers.
After the cake is chilled, cut six 3 inch cake circles. Store in a box in the fridge until needed.
While the cake is chilling, prepare the baked alaska center.
Leave the frozen dessert tubs outside for a few minutes to soften. Line a tray or plate with parchment paper.
Scoop the frozen desserts into 6 spheres and place them on the parchment paper. Press down gently to create a flat bottom (you can use any flavor combination you prefer here). The scoops are about 3 inches across.
Transfer them to the freezer to completely freeze.
Place the egg whites, salt and sugar in a DRY metal mixing bowl.
Heat some water in a saucepan over medium high heat. When the water is simmering, place the metal bowl over the simmering water (make sure bowl is not touching the water) and whisk continuously until the sugar is completely dissolved and the egg white looks milky white - about 5 minutes.
The egg white can be whipped immediately, while it’s hot. OR, let the egg whites cool down completely (uncovered - you don’t want water to get into the egg whites) and set aside until you need them.
When you’re ready to pipe the meringue, whisk the egg whites on high speed with your mixer until you have glossy peaks and it looks marshmallowy.
Transfer the meringue into a piping bag if you’re going to pipe the meringue.
Spread a little melted chocolate or fruit spread on each cake base (optional).
Place the frozen dessert scoops on each cake base. At this stage you can store these in the freezer until required, or prepare them to be served immediately.
ROSE-SHAPED BAKED ALASKA - using a round tip, pipe the meringue along the base of the baked alaska. Switch to a large petal tip, and with the broader edge touching the baked alaska, pipe the “petals” starting from the top moving down toward the base. The easiest way is to place the tip on top and rotate the baked alaska while continuously piping the meringue in a spiral pattern. Smoothen the base of the baked alaska with an angled spatula (SEE VIDEO).
BEEHIVE-SHAPED BAKED ALASKA - using a round tip, pipe the meringue all around the dessert starting from the base right to the top, in a spiral pattern.
Alternatively, just use an angled spatula to spread the meringue to cover the baked alaska.
Use a blow torch to caramelize the meringue surface until golden brown, before serving.
To use the oven to caramelize - freeze the baked alaska for a couple of hours. Broil the frozen baked alaska for a couple of minutes until the surface turns golden brown (keep an eye to make sure the baked alaska doesn't burn or melt).
Decorate with fruits and/or chopped praline. Enjoy!